By Steve Manzo
Throughout the month of September, coach Rachel Smith and the DeSales women’s lacrosse team are running a clothing drive on campus to help those affected by the latest string of devastating hurricanes including Harvey, Irma and Jose.
For the past few weeks, students and faculty alike have brought their clothes over to Smith’s office in Billera Hall. From there, Smith and assistant coach Lindsay Hughes have been taking the clothes down to Green Drop in Doylestown, who then deliver the clothes to the American Red Cross.
The drive will continue through the month of September as the distressed communities continue to battle the hurricane season.
The American Red Cross was picked as the organization of choice for the women’s lacrosse team because of their high reputation and track record with disaster relief efforts. The team started the drive because they were completely stunned by Harvey’s devastation.
“The thought of losing everything we own, and the place we call home really hit us hard,” said Smith.
They wanted to help out in any way they could, and they figured that a new set of clothes would be very helpful and useful for the victims.
The team knew what they had to do. Once the delivery methods were set, they announced the drive on Aug. 30 and sprang into action. They utilized the DeSales Daily and social media to notify the community and their over 600 followers. Team members also spread the word to family and friends. Through all of these means, the team has been able to successfully collect plenty of clothes, shoes, towels, blankets and pillows.
On top of helping out the people in the south, the team has used this experience to reinforce team values and foster character building.
On what she wants the students to take away from this experience, Smith said she wanted to display to the team that “there are causes and issues way bigger than them.”
She wanted to drive home that health and safety is not something to be taken for granted, and that taking the time to help others without that luxury is time well spent.
The experience has been a rewarding one for the DeSales women’s lacrosse team. They took in the opportunity to make a difference and provide comfort to the lives of people who sorely needed the help.
“If we can help one person, one family or anyone at all it has been successful,” said Smith.
They were proud to champion the giving spirit that is ingrained within their team’s culture.